When you’re a new dad, legacies matter, even more so if you’re ‘brand new’ to fatherhood. Here’s a fun way to preserve important milestones.
He walked with confidence into his first classroom, that I cannot deny. I can also prove it with a short video clip.
The miracles of modern technology enabled me to capture the moment (and the morning) our son walked into his first class at Kindergarten. How many parents held their child’s hand as they walked to school… while waves of melancholy and excitement (and a few sighs) pounded away at their souls like some unsuspecting beach in the path of Hurricane Dorian?
Many of us were asking, has it been five years? It feels like it was just yesterday that he/she was suckling on my wife’s bosom in the hospital! And look – our kid is healthy… due in part to my wife’s sublime breasts, thank you very much… said many a father!
Some parents cried, others gleefully embraced the opportunity to suckle on a Starbuck’s Latte themselves but the fact of the matter is our children have started their formative years of education.
Let’s hit the pause button for a moment, shall we? Why rush this. In fact, let’s preserve it.
It’s no small thing when your child starts school. It’s worth capturing the moment.
I’ve written about the value of establishing a legacy when one becomes a father, especially when the backstory includes a less-than-perfect family experience for the new dad himself. The mission behind this blog is… “dedicated to men experiencing fatherhood for the first time who may not have had fathers themselves growing up.” I’ve also noted in past articles how preserving family memories and keepsakes help to establish a legacy for a new dad. When they are handed down to the next generation, there’s something to look back on that’s poignant and meaningful. That, itself, represents the commitment a father makes to his family.
Back to your little tike who started Kindergarten. Take a moment and create a memory you can pass down to him/her when they are older. This could be given to them when they start high school, college or when they have children themselves.
And make sure it’s from you and you alone. Make it straight from the heart. Share your joys and sorrows, the emotions you felt when you saw your child walk onto the school grounds. Tell your child what it feels like when you’re a father and handing off your offspring to a new teacher.
If nothing else, it proves you cared and were present in the moment. For men like myself who were raised in the absence of a father, the chapters that unfold before us add up to a volume of significant work. The ‘significance’ is stepping up when it comes to raising kids and how we are providing a better experience to the next generation.
So, write or video record yourself and preserve it for your kids. You can add some dramatic flair as I do – like sealing the letters I write to my son with a wax stamp. A piece of tape will do the trick, but I like the idea of my son breaking the seal sometime down the road– without any input or editing from my wife. It’s a direct connection. You can put a fob key in an envelope too, or perhaps use a box and wrap it… but maybe that’s a bit over the top?
Who am I kidding… I seal my son’s letters with a wax stamp. I’m guilty as charged. Keep it in a fire-proof box to ensure it is preserved.
The exciting and sad part about parenting is… there are no do-overs. When a milestone moment comes and goes, share how meaningful it is in a manner that enables the next generation to understand what it meant to you.
Because you love them.